Liga Portugal kicks Nike into touch for Select ball deal
Nike, the US sportswear giant, has lost its second ball supplier contract for a prominent European soccer league, after Liga Portugal struck a deal with Select, the Denmark-based ball manufacturer.
The agreement runs from 2019-20 to 2022-23, with the 'Select Brilliant Super TB' ball to be used in next season's Liga NOS.
Select already supplies the ball to Belgium's Pro League, Norway's Eliteserien, Denmark's Superliga and Sweden's Allsvenskan, and also owns Germany-based Derbystar, which has contracts with Germany's Bundesliga and the Netherlands' Eredivisie.
Nike had held the Liga Portugal contract since 2016-17, when it replaced German rival Adidas.
Pedro Proença, president of Liga Portugal, said: "The Portuguese league, in its process of internationalisation, has been looking for international partners and the question of the ball for us was absolutely fundamental. We looked for partners who had the same strategy as us."
Peter Knap, chief executive of Select Sport, added: "The partnership with Liga Portugal is a great recognition of our long tradition of excellent quality and innovation in balls. This has been our brand since 1947 and we will keep that focus as we go. We are looking forward to this four-year partnership that will certainly strengthen our brand and position."
Nike has also lost the LaLiga contract from 2019-20, with Spain's top two divisions to use balls supplied by Germany's Puma for the next three seasons.
Nike, which had been a partner of LaLiga for 20 years, retains deals with England's Premier League, Italy's Serie A and the Russian Premier League, while Germany's Uhlsport is contracted to France's Ligue 1.
Last week, Liga Portugal renewed its sponsorship agreement with domestic bank EuroBic until at least the end of the 2020-21 campaign. At the turn of the year, Super Bock, the Portuguese beer brand, signed up as the official beer of Liga NOS, second-tier Ledman LigaPro and the Allianz Cup competitions until the end of the 2019-20 season.